Location based apps on WiFi only?

Jack Tripper

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 9, 2011
50
0
On a WiFi-only iPad, is it possible for location based apps to use WiFi/Digital Compass technology to determine your location in lieu of not having full GPS?

For example, walking on the street past a coffee shop WiFi (but not logged into it) can an app suggest restaurants nearby?
 
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RelentlessFruit

macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2012
23
0
UK
Nope, you need a 3G / 4G iPad for that.

The wifi units don't contain the GPS reciever due the missing radio hardware. The GPS reciever is part of the same chipset that runs the radio comms.

A compass signal is meaningless for location and unless the specific app you're using has a full record of all the wifi spots around your location it has no way to reference your position.

So I guess technically it would be possible but no app developer out there is going to put in the amount of effort required to maintain a wifi point list like that IMHO. Especially when the iPad isn't used like an iPhone would be i.e. you're very unlikely to be walking the streets with your iPad in your hand.....it'll most likely be in your bag.
 
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Jack Tripper

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 9, 2011
50
0
Thanks for the tip.

Apple's iPad specs list WiFi crowd sourcing and Digital Compass for location technology. Is this location data unusable by apps? If apps require GPS, what is WiFi based location data used for?
 

RelentlessFruit

macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2012
23
0
UK
Thanks for the tip.

Apple's iPad specs list WiFi crowd sourcing and Digital Compass for location technology. Is this location data unusable by apps? If apps require GPS, what is WiFi based location data used for?
That's all well & good but it's a fudge IMHO.

As I said, a compass alone is near useless if you're trying to pin point your location - Apple can say what they like but a compass gives you a bearing, nothing more.

A crowd-sourced wifi AP list would give you an approximate location BUT you need to be connected to it / close enough for your iPad "see" it.

IMHO if location based info & services are a key feature for you a wifi only iPad simply won't meet your requirements.

If its a "nice to have" and if you're never able to receive such a service / use a location based app on your iPad and you won't mind - a wifi only unit will be fine.

Only you can decide what's more important really :)
 

Jack Tripper

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 9, 2011
50
0
Do the new wifi-only iPads next month have any WiFi enhancements like crowdsourcing to allow location-based apps?

Or do you still need a cellular iPad to use location-based apps?